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Epson Photography Competition at the Department of Engineering 2006 entries

Steve Hoath: 'Tails from the nozzle bank'
Steve Hoath: 'A moment of reflection'

Steve Hoath
'A moment of reflection'

This was taken with a Nikon D70 with a Navitar zoom macro lens and a very short flash duration (20 ns) light source.  This image was taken during a series of experiments at the Cambridge Engineering Department, Inkjet Research Centre investigating the performance of inkjet printers.  It shows drops from an inkjet print head having just hit or just about to hit a glass surface in which they are reflected. Before hitting the surface the drop heads are 50 microns across and the tails are less than 10 microns wide (10 times thinner than a human hair).  Although very small the drops are moving at around 6 m/s hence the need for a very short flash to freeze the motion.  The tail is formed as the drop emerges from the print head nozzle.  The tail detaches from the liquid in the nozzle and then starts to break up into smaller drops.  This image was adjusted for brightness and contrast and then cropped and rotated for effect.
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Last updated: May 2006